Analysis of context

Legal framework in Portugal

Center “Qualifica” – Agrupamento de Escolas Júlio Dantas (Group of Schools Júlio Dantas)

Aware of the centrality that the lifelong learning (LLL) has taken on in our society, the secondary school Júlio Dantas has always sought to make its contribution through the creation and diversification of educational and training offerings to give response to "non-traditional" public needs – young adults who have left the education system without the completion of compulsory schooling and/or without qualification, low-skilled adults, school or professional active working adults, immigrants, unemployed with low qualification level and qualified assets who wish to acquire other levels of qualification.


In this context, in 2006, joined the "Iniciativa Novas Oportunidades” (New Opportunities Initiative), advocated by “Plano Tecnológico” - Unidade de Coordenação do Plano Tecnológico, 2005 -  (Technological Plan Coordination Unit, 2005), with the creation of the "Centro Novas Oportunidades Terras do Infante da Escola Secundária Júlio Dantas” (Centre of New Opportunities “Land of the Infant” of secondary school Júlio Dantas).


This initiative was based on the idea that the twelfth year of schooling (12th grade) was the minimum level and reference point for the qualification of Portuguese citizens.

In 2013 the network "Centros Novas Oportunidades” (New Opportunities Centres) was extinct and replaced by "Centros para a Qualificação e o Ensino Profissional – CQEP” (Centers for Qualification and Professional Education), created by Ordinance No. 135-‐ A/2013, May 28th. Thus, through Decree No. 1465/2014, January 29th  the "Centro para a Qualificação e o Ensino Profissional do Agrupamento de Escolas Júlio Dantas – CQEP/ AEJD” (Center for Qualification and Professional Education Group of Schools Júlio Dantas) was created and ran until the end of December 2016. During this period the training and adult education was relatively sparse due essentially to lack of funding preventing the affectation of physical and human resources for its normal functioning.


In 2016 the ministerial order No. 232/2016, of  August 29th, proceeded to create Centers “Qualifica” (qualifies) , extinguishing the "Centro para a Qualificação e o Ensino Profissional – CQEP” (Center for Qualification and Professional Education).

According to the preamble to the Ordinance above,  "revitalize the adult education and training as the central pillar of the qualifications system, ensuring the continuity of policies for lifelong learning and continuous improvement of the quality of processes and learning outcomes is a national political priority".


The "Centro Qualifica do agrupamento de escolas Júlio Dantas CA – AEJD”, (Center “Qualifica” for the Group of schools Júlio Dantas), started its activity on the 1st of January 2017, and is intended for adults aged 18 years and above who want to obtain a qualification and, exceptionally, to young people who are not attending any education or training system  and are not included in the labour market (paragraph 2 , of the article 1 of ministerial order No. 232/2016)


The assignments of Centers “Qualifica” are (paragraph 1 and paragraph 2, article 2, of ministerial order No. 232/2016):

a)                 The information, orientation and forwarding of candidates, in particular for vocational education and training, based on the different types of qualifications and adapting existing offerings to profiles, needs, motivations and expectations of candidates and the dynamics of the labour market;

b)                 The recognition, validation and certification of competences developed by adults throughout life through formal, informal and non-formal school education, professional or double certification, based on references of the National Qualifications Catalogue;

c)                  The development of information and dissemination actions targeting young people and adults, businesses and other employers about professional education and training offerings available and the relevance of lifelong learning;

d)                 The promotion and participation in networks of place-based partnership that contribute, in the context of vocational education and training, to a more integrated and consistent intervention, identifying concrete needs of qualification and in the organization of useful answers to the population, in particular to facilitate the marking and identification of young people who are outside the system of education and training and promote their forwarding to appropriate qualifying responses;

e)                 The monitoring of the candidates sent to qualifying offers;

f)                   The support to the "Agência Nacional para a Qualificação e o Ensino Profissional, I. P.  - ANQEP, I.P. (National Agency for qualification and vocational education) regarding their specific competence criteria definition network structuring and implementation of monitoring mechanisms of education and training offerings.

According paragraph 1 of article 11, the activity of CQ-AEJD embodied in the following steps of intervention:

  • Welcoming - registration and clarification, considering the mission and the scope of intervention of the CQ-AEJD;
  • Diagnosis – candidate profile analysis, in order to identify education and/or training responses adjusted to his/her situation (motivations, needs and expectations);
  • Information and guidance – identification of individual projects of education and professional qualification, taking into account realistic options of future studies and/or integration into the labour market;
  • Forwarding- forwarding the candidate for an offer (internal or external to the Group) of education and/or vocational training or for a process of “Recognition and Validation” and “Certification of Competences”.
  • Processes of Recognition, Validation and Certification of Competences (RVCC Process).